Qin Sifeng and Su Minjun are in jail in Shandong after they tried to evangelize in Yunnan, a reminder of the “zero tolerance” policy for house churches who operate outside of their area.
by Tao Niu
Last week, relatives of Pastor Qin Sifeng and Sister Su Minjun circulated an appeal among house churches, asking them to pray and demand the release of the two missionaries of Beijing Lampstand Christian Church.
Beijing Lampstand is a successful house church, and like others in the history of the Beijing’s independent Christian movement, it has felt the urge to evangelize in remote areas of the country. Pastor Qin and Sister Su went to Yunnan, some 2,500 kilometers from Beijing, and started a missionary work there.
In July 2022, while they were travelling to Yunnan, they were arrested in Zibo, Shandong, and detained there. They were told that they were accused of “illegal business operations,” as they had printed and distributed to their co-religionists a hymnal without authorization.
Shandong is in turn far away from Yunnan, and it is clear that the authorities were keeping Pastor Qin and Sister Su under watch.
Evangelizing in other cities and provinces is one of the red lines house churches, even when they were treated less harshly than it happens now, were supposed not to cross if they wanted to enjoy a modicum of tolerance.
Now, of course, after the December 2021 National Conference on Work Related to Religious Affairs, tolerance for the house churches is very low in general.